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Chapin Intermediate School Teacher Receives Outstanding Teacher Service Award

Chapin, SC – Chapin Intermediate School teacher Yvonne Strange received the Outstanding Teacher Service Award from the South Carolina Council on Economic Education (SC Economics) at their Annual Awards Luncheon on May 19. The award recognizes a teacher for broadening students’ understanding of economics, money and the financial system.

“I’m proud to represent the math teachers of Lexington-Richland School District Five because we have a very powerful, strong group of math teachers in this district,” said Strange. “When I’m recognized I feel like I’m being recognized as part of a group of really good quality math teachers.”

Strange teaches fifth grade academically gifted program math classes and finds many ways to incorporate financial education into her lessons. Her students participate in The Stock Market Game™ in the fall to see how what they learn in math class can apply to the real world.

The online game provides a real-time simulation of buying and selling stocks. Students work in teams for nine weeks to create a portfolio and “invest” $100,000. At the end of the game, they have seen how worldwide events, natural disasters and other countries’ economies can affect the stock market.

“It just sticks with them so much better,” explained Strange. “The rest of the year they understand how integers work and how graphs work because they’ve used them in real life and it really sticks with them.”

Strange’s students also participate in the InvestWrite national writing competition each year. This year’s topic had students choose one corporation that began as a sole proprietorship or partnership that eventually grew and became incorporated.

Students researched the origins of the company, its growth and products or services, and the details of the incorporation process. Strange has had students place as national winners for two years in a row.

A local bank provides materials to Strange’s classes to help them gain experience with personal finance. They receive check books and registrars, and learn how to write checks and balance a check book. They learn about debit cards and savings accounts, and have a project where they act as college students budgeting and writing checks for bills.

Chapin Intermediate principal Vann Holden was thrilled with SC Economics’ recognition of Strange. “Mrs. Strange is an amazing teacher!” said Holden. “She works hard to make sure that each student is challenged and developing academically, and she does it by finding ways to make her standards relevant to students' lives.”

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